Sunday, February 6, 2011

Reddish Egret, Roseate Spoonbill, White Ibis

This post will not consist of good bird photography, but they are of three birds that I never dreamed of seeing and was ecstatic when I saw them. I apologize that the quality of the photos don't reflect the quality of my enthusiasm of seeing them. In all cases the three birds were at a very far distance or were in poor light.

Here they are:

A Reddish Egret in flight; Isla Contoy, Mexico; 12/21/10.
When I snapped the photo of the Reddish Egret (Above) I wasn't sure what bird was flying through the air, until later when I zoomed in on it. Its unique pinkish white bill with a black tip along with the red top of the head helped me with the identification. Reddish Egrets are found on the southern coasts of Florida and Texas as well as the Gulf Islands along the south shores of Alabama and Mississippi and extend throughout the Caribbean Islands.

A Roseate Spoonbill perched in the tree with two Reddish Egrets and one in flight with a Magnificent Frigatebird; Isla Contoy, Mexico; 12/21/10.
 While we were in the observation tower at Isla Contoy's headquarters, Val said she saw a flash of pink flying in the air way out on the edge of the island. When I talked to our tour guide about how to get out that far, I was told "impossible" after all it is a wildlife sanctuary. The best I could do is scan the distant shores of the Island from the boat as we returned to Cancun. The photo (Above) is the best I could get with my 250mm zoom. I can't wait until I upgrade to a stronger zoom lens. Roseate Spoonbills would be the only pink bird of this size in residence on isla Contoy at this time of year. I was assured that Flamingoes were long gone, and wouldn't return until March / April. Spoonbills are found throughout much of South America, but also can be found along the Gulf Coast of South Florida and Texas as well as Cuba and other Caribbean islands.
Two White Ibis on the shore of the Nichupte Lagoon in Cancun, while we were departing on our boat for Isla Contoy, Mexico; 12/21/10.
The White Ibis (Above) is unique with its long hooked bill (as all the Ibis species), which is what I saw when I was trying to get a decent pic. But being on a boat moving away from my subject which were in the shadows of the trees with a bright sun glaring as a backlight set me up for a poor photo. White ibis can be found all along the Gulf Coast and Caribbean Islands pretty much year round. In summer they will migrate just a bit north into the Southeastern states looking for marshes and mudflats (and even wet lawns) as their favorite habitat.

Just seeing these three exotic water birds, and not getting good pics of them, just makes me more motivated to come back to this area again to see if I get another chance for the photo.

Two Iguanas of the day; Cancun, Mexico; 12/25/10.

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